The remaining members of Grateful Dead are playing five “Fare Thee Well” shows this summer.
According to a statement from the band, it will be the last time the four remaining members play on stage together. Naturally, such an announcement created a sense of scarcity and scarcity lends itself to various forms of exploitation, particularly around price.
The face value of Fare Thee Well tickets is an outrage to begin with, but that’s nothing compared to what’s happening on the secondary market. Currently on Stub Hub, prices for obstructed view tickets at the top of Soldier Field are going for $379 and up, per ticket.
I’m not even going to reprint the obscene prices that people seeking VIP treatment are shelling out for this. Instead, I’ll ask, is there going to be even one hippy within a mile of these shows?
Back in the day, Deadheads would grimace when the band closed the show with “Keep Your Day Job.”
Ring that bell for whatever it’s worth
When Monday comes don’t forget about work
It appears that someone took these lyrics to heart. Not all Deadheads are trust-funders and/or drug dealers. Some actually have day jobs that pay for the extravagance mentioned above.
I think it’s worth mentioning that a lot of Deadheads do not have the means to attend these Fare Thee Well shows, or any concert that costs $80 to $100 per person, per day, as so many shows do now.
It’s also fair to ask, what would Jerry think of the state of the live music industry, 50 years after the first Grateful Dead shows? No one can say for sure. Garcia was a shrewd operator, as was legendary promoter Bill Graham.
Ultimately, it’s not for me to judge. It’s my job to choose, and I did that a long time ago. I understand we all want to have fun. How we choose to do it and how much we will pay for the pleasure, that’s up to each freak to figure out.